February 9th, 2016
I live in Farmington NM, I recently began posting as Tars1 trying to help with the search for Randy. I was with Sacha and the crew in January and February. Since there was not a big search crew going out the other day and I wasn’t trying to beat a storm on the way home, I decided to check something out on my own.
I had noticed during the BOTG searches that there is still some disagreement about where the selfie was taken. It seems kind of moot at this point but I also wanted to verify it to myself and see exactly what Randy was seeing when he planned his boat trip.
I drove to Whiterock and checked from the overlook and it looked like I was heading in the right direction so I continued on and found “Powerline Trail” on highway 4 between Whiterock and Bandalier. As I feared, it was blocked off with only an opening for hikers and mountain bikes. It is a 2 mile hike to the rim from the highway but it is actually a road that has been blocked so the hike is easy enough. It goes to the rim where the power lines cross the Rio Grande Gorge. From that point I followed the rim south toward the point and I came upon a well marked trail that went down around the face of the rocks on the point .
I didn’t have Randy’s selfie with me so it was hard to pinpoint just where he was standing but the slope several hundred feet below, the view of the Rio Grande and the canyon in the distance, and the bright rock face above me make it very obvious that this was the place. While I was taking pictures and glassing the view a jogger came down the trail with his two little dogs. We only chatted a moment as he was headed down to the river. He said the trail goes all the way down to the river and supposedly connects with the Blue Dot and Red dot trails below Whiterock. In a moment he was out of sight and less than two minutes later he was visible on the trail well below. It is that easy of a trail. He is almost in the exact center of the picture pointed down the face of the hill. He was moving pretty good. He had parked at the same place I did, and even though the river is probably another mile or more I half expected the guy to get to the river and still pass me getting back to the highway.
The coordinates I managed to mark on my gps are just up the hill from where the selfie was taken. N35 47.071 W106 13.407
I just wanted to make sure at least this part was verified for everyone.